“The Last Jail on the Northampton Court Green”
The Northampton Historic Preservation Society is
fundraising to restore the 1907 Jail for use as a museum about all the
jails that once stood on the Northampton Historic Court Green in Eastville, Virginia. This
will add a fifth stop to the "self" tour to include: the NHPS Exhibit in
the 1899 Courthouse, the 1731 Courthouse, the ca. 1800 Clerk's Office,
and the ca. 1814 Debtors Prison. Your help is greatly appreciated!
Northampton Historic Preservation Society (NHPS) is pleased to announce that The
Cabell Foundation has awarded a one-to-one $50,000 challenge grant to support
the restoration and preservation of the 1907 jail building on the Northampton
County Court Green in Eastville, Virginia. The Society plans to use the 1907 Jail
as a museum to recognize the history of all the jails that once stood on the
historic court green.
This project will complete a five-building combination of exhibits and
buildings reflecting Northampton County governance over the past three hundred
years. The existing self-guided tour includes an overview of the
Northampton Court Green history in an exhibit room of the 1899 Courthouse (now
County Administration Building) and exhibits in the 1731 Courthouse, the Old
Clerk's Office (ca.1800) and the Debtors Prison (ca.1814). The addition of the
1907 Jail Museum will become the fifth stop on this educational tour.
Northampton Court Green buildings showcase architectural styles from the last three centuries and provide informative exhibits for students, academicians, and other visitors about activities that took place on the historic court green. With the restoration of the 1907 Jail, the Northampton County Historic Court Green is certain to be one of the most intact and restored court greens in the country. In order to receive The Cabell Foundation challenge grant, NHPS must raise $50,000 in cash and pledges.
The Cabell Foundation challenge grant relies on community involvement through contributions to support preservation efforts! Every gift counts! One-time or monthly donations may be made with the donation button below. Contact Mike Ash at 757-678-0963 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the project or to discuss your pledge, contribution, or becoming a sponsor.
Northampton Historic Preservation Society Receives Grant from Virginia Humanities to Produce Jail Video
The Northampton Historical Preservation Society received a grant to produce and deliver a documentary video to recognize the historical role of the recently demolished 1914 Jail and other Northampton County jails that stood on the Eastville Court Green. The Historical Society is pleased to acknowledge that this video was made possible with the generous support of Virginia Humanities.
Dr. Carl Lounsbury, Architectural Historian, hosted the July 28th event at the Cape Charles Historic Palace Theatre. The video began in a time when jails were just a holding place for court trials and immediate punishment. In the video, Dr. Lounsbury explained the progression of jail methods of construction, types of prisoners, and the treatment of prisoners. Eastville Mayor James Sturgis provided an overview of the economic growth that funded the construction of a cutting edge, early 20th century jail in a rural and isolated Eastern Shore. Transforming attitudes toward incarceration led to better prisoner treatment and healthier conditions. Smaller cells, areas to congregate, and modern utilities were included in the 1914 Jail.
Twentieth century manufacturing techniques improved security. County enforcement officers and leadership provided a tour of the 1914 Jail and discussed how it functioned. The new and improved ideas for the treatment of prisoners introduced in the 1914 Jail served the county for close to 100 years. It was the last jail "built"on the historic Northampton County Court Green.
However, there is still one "last jail" standing on the Eastville Court Green that was built in 1907. The video also features the 1907 Jail as well as the 1914 Jail and the NHPS hopes to restore the 1907 Jail for use as a museum for all the jails that once stood on the historic Northampton Court Green.
Northampton Historic Preservation Society
P.O. Box 501
Eastville, VA 23347